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The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Chocolate War (1974)

by Robert Cormier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chocolate War (1)

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English (152)  Italian (1)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
It's easy to see why The Chocolate War is considered a Young Adult touchstone book, and why is it still popular - and popular to challenge and censor- 40 years after its publication date. The writing quality is superb, flowing easily and naturally with believable dialogue and internal monologues. It is obvious that Cormier never tried to "talk down" to his teenage readers and instead provides a well-written story with backstabbing, intrigue, and politics, that simply centers around a teenaged cast. While The Chocolate War has enjoyed a favorable reputation since its publication, it may be a tougher sell to today's teen reader, who, saturated with dystopian futures like The Hunger Games, may view The Chocolate War as classic or outdated. However, the imposing, hegemonic atmosphere of Trinity School and the conniving antics of the mob-like Vigils, run by Archie Costello, the Don, could be used as selling points for readers. While I enjoyed The Chocolate War - in particular the writing style, which neither under- nor overestimates its readers - I personally did not find anything inspiring or encouraging in the ending. I realize that it was a realistic and appropriate ending, I just personally prefer things to end with more opportunity for improvement and introspection.
  StellaJay | Apr 13, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this character-driven story about a high school freshman faced with incredible challenges.
I would recommend this book to athletes, anyone who feels like an outsider, and those who feel a strong pull to stand up for what is right. I would warn any potential reader that this is a brutal story with some violence. ( )
  sbballard | Apr 9, 2014 |
3Q, 2P

A fast read; could be characterized as a series of brief, plot-driven character studies. Might appeal to fans of Lord of the Flies; a different sort of breakdown of civilization (takes place almost entirely in an elite boys' school). A bleak outlook on the abuse of power in an already heavily weighted power dynamic. Illustrates potential consequences for doing what is right in a community more concerned with doing what is easy.

Fails the Bechdel Test.
  postapocalypso | Apr 9, 2014 |
While the book definitely has some valuable lessons and clichéd relatable characters, the beginning is slow and therefore harder to get deeply attached to under the circumstances that I'm currently in.
The writing is of good and consistent quality enough to earn a 4. The slow/heavy start is why I gave it a 3 (I'd need to have some persuasion to get someone else to read it - I wouldn't be able to fake enthusiasm enough.)

Quote for discussion, "The world is made up of two kinds of people - those who were victims and those who victimized." - Chapter 14 (page 5 out of 6 pages); 41% of book complete. ( )
  kacieg | Apr 9, 2014 |
3Q, 4P. Power, corruption, brutality, hope, and despair in a private all-boys Catholic High School: Robert Cormier vividly depicts the adolescent struggle for self-determination in the face of powerful peer and institutional pressures. Written in a straightforward, yet descriptive style, this novel is fast-paced and gave me a sense of impending doom as I progressed through it. I think most teens can relate to being forced to choose between two bad choices, and Cormier respects his readers enough to carry them through to the logical conclusion of one of those bad choices without manipulating it into a happy ending. ( )
  C.Davidson | Apr 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Cormierprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
They murdered him.
In bed once more, Jerry lay without moving, trying to summon sleep. Listening to his father's snores, he thought of how his father was actually sleeping his life away, sleeping even when he was awake, not really alive. And how about me? What was it the guy on the Common had said the other day, his chin resting on the Volkswagen like some grotesque John the Baptist? You're missing a lot of things in the world.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A young adult novel set in a parochial school. Jerry Renault does not want to participate in the school's chocolate sales. The headmaster, who has reasons of his own to want the sale to be successful, calls in the school's gang and asks them to put pressure on Jerry to make him conform. The results are catastrophic.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375829873, Paperback)

Does Jerry Renault dare to disturb the universe? You wouldn't think that his refusal to sell chocolates during his school's fundraiser would create such a stir, but it does; it's as if the whole school comes apart at the seams. To some, Jerry is a hero, but to others, he becomes a scapegoat--a target for their pent-up hatred. And Jerry? He's just trying to stand up for what he believes, but perhaps there is no way for him to escape becoming a pawn in this game of control; students are pitted against other students, fighting for honor--or are they fighting for their lives? In 1974, author Robert Cormier dared to disturb our universe when this book was first published. And now, with a new introduction by the celebrated author, The Chocolate War stands ready to shock a new group of teen readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:12 -0400)

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A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

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Average: (3.59)
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